What's the weather like?

Unpredictable. The climate in Ireland is generally more temperate than most of the United States. Seattle is the US city closest in climate to Ireland. Ireland tends to have an East/West divide in that the West generally gets more rain and is cooler in the summer. Summer temperatures can reach the 70's, and when they do, the air is extremely humid. In Winter, it gets cold and windy, but rarely snows in Dublin.

How can I phone home?

There are several options you may wish to consider for keeping in touch with friends and family back home.

  • Host-country mobile—Our staff will talk to you about the benefits of buying a mobile phone after arriving in Ireland – it helps you integrate and while it should be cheap for in-country texts/calls it is usually not the cheapest way to call the US.
  • International cell phone—many US cellular phone companies provide international roaming options, so you can keep your same number and contact your friends and family just as if you were home. However this is expensive for your calls and texts to/from UK phones so contact your provider for full details.
  • Skype, FaceTime or VOiP— Teach your mom to Skype! Sign-up online for free internet communication tools before you leave and plan ahead about when to connect. Please remember that internet access, reliability, and strength may be different to what you are used to.
  • International calling card—often the most inexpensive and manageable way to call home – purchase either before departing or in-country.

Will I get the courses that I initially requested?

There is no guarantee you will get the specific courses that you requested. Because every program is different, course approval and registration processes vary. Students at University College Dublin and Trinity College are guaranteed courses in specific departments, but not specific course titles. Irish students do not pre-register for classes. Please see your program page details.

How much money will I need initially?

About $200 already exchanged into the appropriate currency for the first few days. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account.

Should I take my computer?

Some students choose to bring personal laptops for convenience. You should be able to find compatible software and printers at your host university, but most university computer systems have IBM and IBM compatible equipment. Don't expect 24-hour computer centers. The majority of modern laptops are dual voltage and will work in Ireland with only an adapter plug. Most accommodation has either wired or wireless internet available, and connecting to the internet from your room may be free or may involve an extra cost. It is helpful to bring a small portable USB drive to transfer files to the computer lab for printing, and a Cat 5 or Ethernet cable in case you need to connect to a wired network port. Make sure that your laptop is insured.

What happens when I arrive overseas?

There will be plenty of signs with instructions when you arrive at your airline terminal. Follow the ones that say "Arrivals" and you will eventually get into a line for non-EU-nationals. Once you reach immigration control officials, you will show your passport and certification letter. Officials may ask a few questions, but nothing daunting. After the official stamps your passport and deems you fit for entry, you'll head for the baggage claim carousel. Check on the overhead monitors to see where your plane's baggage has been unloaded. Make your way through baggage reclaim and customs – the green channel is for Nothing to Declare if you have goods that do not exceed the duty free limit. (refer to the State Department for customs guidelines).

What should I pack?

Whatever you bring, you carry in two checked luggage bags and one carry-on bag. Be prepared to move your luggage through airports, on and off busses during orientation, and up several flights of stairs to your room.  Here are some tips:

  • The Leave Half Behind Rule – Select what you think you’ll need and leave half of it behind. Nobody ever complains about having too little luggage.
  • Layering – with such a changeable climate layer your clothes from warm to cold so you can change them up easily. Include a rain jacket.
  • Use Duffel Bags - with wheels or an internal framed backpack. Closet space will not be as generous as what you are used to, so even if you can get it there, you won't necessarily know where to put it.
  • Be versatile - Student rooms are normally equipped with only a foot and a half of hanging space and two, three-foot bureau drawers or the equivalent shelf space, and emptied luggage is usually stored under beds. Go for multi-purpose clothing.

When will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?

We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. Program transcripts are usually issued:

  • Fall: mid-March;
  • Academic year and spring: late September.
  • Summer: early September.

Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines, or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.

What is the Immigration Process?

All non-EU students studying in the Republic of Ireland for more than 3 months are required to complete a registration process with the Irish Police Force (An Garda Síochána) within their first month in country.


This is not a visa and cannot be completed prior to arriving in Ireland. American citizens do not need a visa to study in Ireland.

What about insurance?

Arcadia University enrolls all participants in a health and accident insurance plan with HTH Worldwide.  The plan covers the costs of treatment for most sicknesses and injuries up to $500,000 with no deductible.  Details of this coverage are outlined in the health and accident insurance section of our website. Specific questions should be addressed to the insurance carrier. Please note that Arcadia University does not provide insurance for your possessions. We encourage you to purchase coverage for them or to leave irreplaceable valuables at home.

Will my credits transfer back home?

Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe – ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need.  For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.

Should I make copies of my papers?

Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to you. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.

Can I still vote while abroad?

Before you leave home, check with the Board of Elections at your County Court House about procedures for voting by absentee ballot. You may want to arrange for a member of your family to pick up the ballot and mail it to you. Visit the Federal Voting Assitance Program for more details.

What is the LGBT scene like?

Gay and lesbian life in Ireland is diverse, but perhaps rather more polarized than in Britain. Attitudes toward homosexuality range from hostile repression in certain rural communities to thriving clubs, community centers and bookstores in several cities. Dublin is considered the hub of gay culture in the Republic. On campuses where Arcadia University programs run, there is plenty of support.

The following organizations and help lines in Ireland are staffed by knowledgeable and friendly people:

  • National Lesbian and Gay Federation (NLGF), 2 Scarlet Row, Temple Bar, Dublin 2; Email: nlgf@tinet.ie, Tel +353 1 671 0939
  • Union of Students in Ireland LGB Rights Officer, Union of Students in Ireland, Ceann Áras na MacLéinn, Grattan Street, Dublin 2 (tel +353 1 435 3400; fax 435 3450) The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) represents over 250,000 students in over 50 third-level institutions around the island, north and south. The LGBRO provides support and information to individual students, LGB societies and Students' Unions. The officer runs an LGB awareness campaign in all member colleges and provides training on LGB issues for students and their SU officers.
  • Outhouse, 105 Capel Street, Dublin 1 (tel +353 1 873 4932; fax 873 4933), See www.outhouse.ie for full information.

For more information on study abroad for LGBT students please see NAFSA: Association of International Educators Rainbow Special Interest Group.

Do I need a passport?

YES! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months beyond your program end date.

What time zone is Ireland?

Ireland is five hours ahead of our Eastern Standard Time for most of the year. Ireland switches to daylight savings time before we do, so for one week in March or April, Ireland is six hours ahead of E.S.T. (Add one, two or three hours to these figures in the Central, Rocky Mountain or Pacific time zones, respectively.)

Do I need a visa?

It depends. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to study in the Republic of Ireland but do need to complete a registration process after arrival. All non-EU citizens require a visa to study in Northern Ireland. The type of visa depends on your length of stay and country of origin. See United Kingdom visa information for details.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, it is your responsibility to obtain visas and/or special entry papers or documentation required. For further information about the Republic of Ireland, please contact:

Irish Embassy
2234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 462-3939

Irish Consulate General
345 Park Avenue 51st Street
17th Floor
New York, NY 10154-0037
(212) 319-2555